Home ground a big advantage as Brisbane Heat take on Melbourne Renegades in the second WBBL semi-final
Brisbane Heat Women to win!
|Brisbane Heat Women||14||10||4||0||0||20||0.723|
|Adelaide Strikers Women||14||10||4||0||0||20||-0.076|
|Perth Scorchers Women||14||9||5||0||0||18||0.008|
|Melbourne Renegades Women||14||8||6||0||0||16||0.117|
|Sydney Sixers Women||14||7||7||0||0||14||0.601|
|Sydney Thunder Women||14||5||8||0||1||11||-0.487|
|Hobart Hurricanes Women||14||4||9||0||1||9||-0.197|
|Melbourne Stars Women||14||2||12||0||0||4||-0.734|
It’s been 51 days since this season started. Fifty-five matches later, the league phase is all over and it’s time for the knock-out matches. When it’s a traditional knock-out format, all those league matches go out of the equation. It doesn’t matter that Brisbane Heat finished the top of the season because one bad performance will result in the end of their campaign.
However, at the same time, it is not easy to finish ahead of everyone. Brisbane was incredibly consistent due to some excellent performances from Beth Mooney, Jonassen and the entirety of the bowling attack. Even in the last match against Melbourne Stars, Beth Mooney starred with a fifty while Jonassen picked up two wickets in a rain-curtailed match.
On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, Melbourne Renegades would be no pushovers since they are on the back three-match winning streak. The most recent of those victories came against Sydney Thunder. The ever-consistent Jess Duffin was again a key cog as her fifty helped Renegades post 151-6. In the second half, Molly Strano leads the bowling attack with three wickets as Renegades registered a comfortable 29-run win.
It has been a pretty simple tactic that has made the reigning champions look tough to beat yet again. Star batswoman Beth Mooney's proficiency with the bat along with some help from the likes of Jess Jonassen and Maddy Green has helped Heat post some decent totals which have in turn been made to look like winning totals by the bowlers.
Heat's plus point is the fact that their bowling attack involves players who bring a lot of variety to the table. While the trio of Delissa Kimmince, Georgia Prestwidge and Sammy Jo-Johnson keep it very tight with their medium pace, left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen and leggie Amelia Kerr have been pretty tough to handle. The most impressive fact about Jess Jonassen who is also Heat's leading wicket-taker with 19 scalps is the fact that she bowls the tough overs.
Be it, the powerplay or death overs, Jonassen has applied a lot of pressure by maintaining an economy rate of 6.82 runs per over. This simplicity makes Brisbane Heat a very dangerous side unless and until Beth Mooney has a rare failure. With 8 fifties from 14 matches for Mooney, that rare failure doesn’t seem to be on the cards anytime soon.
Beth Mooney (WK), Maddy Green, Jess Jonassen, Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Kirby Short (C), Amelia Kerr, Sammy Jo-Johnson, Delissa Kimmince, Georgia Prestwidge, Mikayla Hinkley
Grace Harris, Beth Mooney, Mikayla Hinkley, Kirby Short, Jess Jonassen, Maddy Green, Amelia Kerr, Sammy Jo Johnson, Laura Harris, Georgia Prestwidge, Delissa Kimmince
While Brisbane Heat have mostly depended upon Beth Mooney for their runs, Melbourne Renegades have had solid contributions from more batters. However, the stand-out players have been skipper Jess Duffin and Danielle Wyatt with 500 and 468 runs respectively. Their regular contributions have helped Renegades to cover up for Tammy Beaumont's indifferent form.
Even though Sophie Molineux pulled out of the tournament mid-way to take a mental health-related break, the bowlers have pulled through with Molly Strano and Maitlan Brown picking up a lot of wickets. The duo has combined for 36 wickets while Kiwi pacer Lea Tahuhu has kept things quiet in the initial overs.
The worry for them would be the fact that Georgia Wareham has been far from her best and this has meant that a lot of pressure is automatically placed on Danielle Wyatt to contribute with the ball too.
Anna Lanning, Danielle Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont, Jess Duffin (C), Courtney Webb, Josie Dooley (WK), Georgia Wareham, Maitlan Brown, Carly Lesson, Lea Tahuhu, Molly Strano
Anna Lanning, Maitlan Brown, Erica Kershaw, Lea Tahuhu, Molly Strano, Josie Dooley, Chamari Atapattu, Courtney Webb, Jess Duffin, Georgia Wareham, Carly Leeson
The tracks at the Allan Border Field have been unpredictable with a couple of big scoring games while the others have seen the batters struggle. Interestingly, it was at this venue that Renegades chased down Heat's 183 with one over to spare. It would be surprising if that is seen again on Saturday. There is a slight chance for rain on match-day but it might not be heavy enough trouble this match from taking place.
Home ground for the defending champions, Allan Border Field will host three more matches in addition to the five games in the league phase. Just like the pitch, Brisbane also had a mixed record at their home ground with one win and one loss.
The old saying has always been bat first, put a big total on the board and take the pressure off yourself when it comes to knockout matches. But with time cricket and T20 matches, in particular, evolving rapidly, most sides don’t hesitate to chase. With chasing teams winning on four out of the five occasions this season, we will be surprised if the winning captain does something different.
Although Renegades won comfortably against Heat at the Allan Border Field, Brisbane Heat look like the more consistent out of the two sides. Getting Beth Mooney out very early in the match has been talked about as a strategy quite a few times and it will not be any different on Saturday.
We are not predicting a Mooney failure and that automatically means that Brisbane Heat is the favorite for us. The likes of Jess Duffin and Molly Strano would definitely have something to say about this though
Brisbane Heat Women to win!